Kiwis beat Oracle in 1st 2 America's Cup races in Bermuda

Laura Christensen
June 19, 2017

But Emirates Team New Zealand's young helmsman Peter Burling was as phlegmatic as ever on the eve of the Cup. We had our chances, but these guys made fewer mistakes.

Spithill is no stranger to adversity as he and his team made one of the biggest-ever comebacks in sporting history when they rallied from 8-1 down against New Zealand to win the "Auld Mug" in San Francisco in 2013 when the victor was the first to nine.

Welcome to day two of the Americas Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

As both boats headed towards the turn the gap was down to just over three seconds, and it looked like the U.S. team might record their first win of the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, but it was not to be.

Race 2 is to follow.

The Kiwi team continued to excel in light-wind sailing and again showed superior speed and slick manoeuvres, whipping their 50-foot foiling catamaran around the course at a maximum speed of 38.5 kph.

"I think the question is, imagine if these guys lost from here?" "We feel with the resource we've got we can make changes that are going to improve the boat and give us more speed". We've got an incredible team on the shore.

That's a reference to Spithill being Australian, as are other key decision-makers on the crew of Oracle, which is owned by American software billionaire Larry Ellison. There are two more races scheduled for tomorrowwith similar light conditions forecast.

They also snapped a 10-race losing streak to Oracle, including eight at the end of the 2013 regatta and two in the round-robins this year.

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With four straight wins over the cupholders, Team NZ are now in the driver's seat and need just three more wins, when racing resumes next Sunday.

But Spithill, trying to pilot the U.S. to a third straight America's Cup title, was seconds early across the startline of race one and the Americans never recovered from the penalty, as Team New Zealand erased the United States boat's one-point advantage to level overall at 0-0. "We were able to get off the line well and get round that mark just in front, but unfortunately we just didn't pull that gybe off and they were able to roll us out of the gybe".

The always-innovative Kiwis are using a "cyclor" grinding system. They've built four stationary cycling stations into each hull to tap leg power instead of traditional arm power from the grinders to power the hydraulic systems that control the wing mainsail and the daggerboards.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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